Berkeley can focus on region play after recording first victory

  • Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 12:15 a.m.

The natives are a little less restless in Moncks Corner this week, thanks to Berkeley’s 21-20 victory over previously undefeated and defending Division I-AA state champion Timberland last Friday night.

PMB’s Top 10

PMB’s Top 10

Here’s how The Post and Courier’s Phil Bowman ranks the top 10 high school football teams in the Lowcountry:

Rk Last Team Comment

1. 1. Goose Creek Gators are the team to beat in the Lowcountry

2. 2. Stratford Knights have tough trip to Summerville

3. 4. Wando Warriors have the week off

4. 5. Bluffton Bobcats light up scoreboard with 80 points

5. 3. Timberland Turnovers caused coach Craig to have sleepless night

6. 6. Hanahan Gates sets school record with 99-yard TD catch

7. 7. Bishop England Bishops are 2-0 in Region 6-AA play

8. 10. Cane Bay Cobras’ running game is tough to stop

9. 8. Cross Evans, Shepherd form potent 1-2 punch

10. 10. Woodland Wolverines will challenge Bishops for region title

The Stags were aided by Timberland’s 10 turnovers, but a win is a win. And it was Berkeley’s first of the season and fifth in the last 16 games.

“We’re getting better,” said second-year coach Jeff Cruce, whose team is 1-4. “Obviously, a win, a win of that caliber, helps us mentally. It’s hard for us because we’re so young, but we’ve really had only one bad game, and that was against Summerville.

“I thought we played well against Stratford. And I thought we played really well against Cane Bay and Manning. A victory against a team like Timberland gives us confidence.”

And just at the right time. The Stags begin Region 8-AAA play this week with a home game against James Island and follow that with another home game against Hanahan on Oct. 5. So, the schedule works in the Stags’ favor. The other difficult region encounter is at Orangeburg-Wilkinson on Oct. 19.

“I think Orangeburg and Hanahan have lots of good athletes, as does James Island,” Cruce said. “No disrespect for Stall and Hilton Head, but those are the three teams to beat. We have a chance. We just need to play well for 48 minutes and avoid mistakes. Mistakes have killed us this season.”

The Stags played one of the tougher non-region schedules in the state, and their five opponents are a combined 15-5. The Stags held Cane Bay to 162 total yards, but a turnover with 5:11 left in the game changed momentum as Cane Bay scored two times to gain a 28-17 victory.

Timberland, 17-2 over the past two seasons, fumbled the ball six times and threw four interceptions, including one for a touchdown, against Berkeley.

Timberland began and ended the game by throwing interceptions.

Super Mario
Hanahan’s Mario Gates had a big effort in Friday’s 49-14 victory over Wade Hampton. The wide receiver caught seven passes for 224 yards and three TDs. He set a school record with a 99-yard TD catch.

Tucker tabbed
Summerville wrestling coach Randall Tucker was picked as a coach for the 2013 SCWCA North-South match.

The South Carolina all-star wrestling match is the second longest running all-star wrestling event in the country.

The other South coaches include Eric Pack of Swansea, John Morello, Aynor and Larry Long, Bamberg-Ehrhardt.

The North coaches are Randy Twigg, Ridge View, Chad Nelson, Greer, Sean McNinney-Powdersville and Ed Purdy of McCracken.

Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter @pandcphil

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